Tuesday, March 6

Can I have the salsa at its best NOW?

I was slathering some hot sauce on last night’s serving of home-made tamale pie that Karla and I had collaborated on. On the back of the bottle was the machine-imprinted “Best By” date. “Wait a minute!” I exclaimed. “We bought this bottle only last week, and it says here it’s Best By January 2014! Do I have to wait almost two years before it’s at its best? What a rip!”

Good whiskey is aged for 21 years before it’s bottled and sold. By then it’s truly at its best. A few years ago one of our ranch cooks gave me a hearty glass of bootleg whiskey that had been aged in its barrel for 31 years! 190 proof! It was so potent I could have used it to remove age spots or even to grow much-needed new hair, but I drank it instead because it was so tasty!

I think it’s only right that when buying a commercially-produced food product we should expect it to be ready to consume at its best right now, not years down the line. Exotic wines may get better with aging, but taco sauce? Gimme a break.

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